Covid-19: Malaysia police investigating Prasarana chairman for not wearing a mask

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – Malaysia police are investigating the chairman of Prasarana, a government-owned public transport operator, for not wearing a face mask during a press conference on a recent light rail transit (LRT) collision.

Dang Wangi police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohamad Zainal Abdullah said on Wednesday (May 26) an investigation has been opened after Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman was seen wearing a face shield instead of a mask during the Tuesday press conference after he visited the KLCC LRT station.

Datuk Seri Tajuddin later said he had thought wearing a face shield was good enough to comply with Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“We are investigating the case under Section 21A of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 as well as Rule 17(1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Regulations,” said AC Mohamad Zainal in statement.

“Everyone involved in this case will be called to Dang Wangi police headquarters to have their statements taken soon.”

The probe was ordered at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia, which on Wednesday reported its highest daily rise in infections at 7,478.

“We advise the public to comply with the SOP set by the National Security Council,” AC Mohamad Zainal said, referring to the mask mandate where individuals are required to wear masks in crowed public places to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“Failure to comply will lead to action taken under all available laws and regulations,” he added.

Mr Tajuddin was widely criticised on social media for not using a face mask.

Free Malaysia Today (FMT) quoted the Pasir Salak MP as saying that he had thought just wearing the face shield would make it easier for the media to hear him.

“I was told the face shield was good enough, ” he was quoted as saying.

He added that he wore a face mask during a visit to the site of Monday night’s train crash.

“I am sorry if the face shield was not good enough. The shield is not an ordinary shield, (it was) specially ordered from a reliable source.

“But how do you talk during a press conference with a face mask? So I thought a (transparent) shield would be better, ” he told FMT, while confirming that he would be questioned by the police over the matter.

On Monday night, a train under manual control that was undergoing testing had run into another that was carrying 213 passengers between the underground KLCC and Kampung Baru stations.

The incident left 47 people severely injured and 166 others with light injuries.

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